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Mariah Carey’s greatest hip hop collabs

As she takes over Vegas, revisit the R&B queen's slept-on pairings with Missy Elliott, Jay Z and Da Brat

If you haven’t heard yet, our favourite five-octave falsetto queen Mariah Carey will be joining the Camp Hall Of Fame alongside the likes of Britney and Cher by starting her residency at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas next week. Although we might not be able to make it to the golden palace of dreams, it doesn’t mean we can’t get stupidly excited at the thought of her breathily singing new song “Infinity”, whilst in some kind of puffy, diamond-studded Vegas get-up. And in the words of Donatella Versace; “Mariah Carey is such an important part of my life, it feels like I've known her forever.” Anyway, although the residency will be made up of all eighteen of her number ones (that’s why it’s called “MARIAH #1 TO INFINITY”) we’re more into the avalanche of hip hop collaborations she’s done over the years. We couldn’t fit them all in of course, but these ones are our favourites.

Mariah Carey & Ol’ Dirty Bastard – “Fantasy (Remix)”

This remix of Mariah’s sweet 1995 classic “Fantasy”, is probably one of the best R&B tracks to have come out of the nineties (and there were many). “I done stoled your soul / big letters all big and bold / Ol’ Dirty Bastard across the globe,” raps Wu Tang’s ODB over Mariah’s faux-coy, silken-voiced verses, and whilst the original is cool, the remix is iconic.

Mariah Carey & Mobb Deep – “The Roof”

This sultry, R&B slow jam stuck to 1998 like condensation on a car window – with a remix that sampled Mobb Deep's "Shook Ones Part II". And it’s still just as brilliant nearly two decades later. Needless to say, there aren’t many lyrics quite as OTT as “And then you casually walked in the room / And I was twisted in the web of my desire for you”, but who wants their cake without a bit of full-fat cream?

Mariah Carey & Peter Gunz & Lord Tariq – “My All”

Way back in 1997, Mariah teamed up with Bronx duo Peter Gunz and Lord Tariq to give us this beautifully laidback, early-hours, spliff-sucking beat. You may have forgotted that this remix of her mega-ballad ever existed, but this version is a pure, smooth groove worth revisting on your next party playlist.

Mariah Carey & Jay-Z – “Things That U Do”

Like Mariah herself, Jay-Z is a serial collaborator, so it’s little wonder these two have teamed up on more than one occasion. “I dodged prison, came out unscathed from car collisions / I know I must be part of some mission,” raps Jay-Z over Mariah’s lilting hooks and Swizz Beats’ thumping, skeletal production. The track appeared on Jay-Z’s essential 1999 album Vol.3…Life and Times of S.Carter.

Mariah Carey & Da Brat, Ludacris, Twenty II, Shawnna – “Loverboy (Remix)”

Glittering sounds aside, the David LaChapelle-directed video for this track includes a bunch of Mariah’s singing heads spinning around each other like you’re viewing her through a kaleidoscope, which makes for weirdly addictive viewing. The track itself merges funk-dipped 80’s-style bass lines alongside the lyrical flow of noughties hip hop alums Da Brat, Ludacris, Twenty II and Shawnna.

Mariah Carey & Jay-Z – “Heartbreaker”

Mariah Carey breaks out a full-on dance routine in the cinema for this video, and you’d be lying if you said you never attempted it yourself at the time. Nostalgia trips aside, this Jay-Z collab is one of the hip-pop highlights of her discog. And the video's catfight between sweetheart Mimi and evil Mimi? Pure tongue-in-cheek genius.

Mariah Carey & Jermaine Dupri - “Sweetheart”

Carey and Dupri were the ultimate musical force in the noughties – teaming on "We Belong Together", "Shake It Off" and "The One” – so this electro-funk Rainy Davis cover was just one result of that long-lasting collaboration. We also can’t help but notice that the video for this jam is eerily similar to that Kim and Kanye on-a-bike ‘moment’…just saying.

Mariah Carey & Mase & The Lox - “Honey”

You can’t get any more Mariah than the vocal runs that glide through this 1997 boombox classic with Mase and East Coast Hip Hop group The Lox. “All the money in the world couldn’t even amount, to a teaspoon of honey that’ll melt in your mouth” sings Mariah over silky smooth melodies with a voice that sounds like honey itself. 

Mariah Carey, Missy Elliot & Da Brat – “Heartbreaker (Remix)”

It’s hard not to rate a track that involves Missy Elliott, and this Desert Storm Remix is no different. Mariah Carey described the remix as a “girl-power” record, saying: “It’s from the standpoint of girls that keep going back to that same guy and they can't help themselves. I've been one of those girls. They need to gather strength and move on and past it."

Mariah Carey & Krayzie Bone & Wish Bone – “Breakdown”

This type of simmering, sultry jam might be less heard these days, but we still love it like it’s 1997. Taken from the Butterfly album, the Bone Thugs-N-Harmony collab was one of Mimi’s first forays into hip hop proper, and for that we can be truly thankful.